May 8, 2013
Is The Gilette Longoria Stunt Staged Or Real?
As the CEO of top NYC PR firm, 5WPR, I hope I don’t lose my Yankee Card for this one. But as a PR guy, there is a lot to admire about a recent YouTube video featuring Tampa Bay Rays star, Evan Longoria. In the video, a reporter is interviewing Longo when a foul ball rockets toward her head. At the last second Longoria reaches out and grabs the ball out of the sky barehanded, obviously saving the woman from grave injury or death.
Now, Yankee faithful know that Derek Jeter could have made that catch, no problem. But, as the video went viral on social media, questions about it began to arise. Fox Sports, Huffington Post and even Snopes weighed in on whether or not the video was staged.
But every single one of those reports had one thing in common. They included the video. A video that was watched again and again and again. Now people who never watch baseball know who Longoria is. They know who the Rays are and they have reason to be … ahem … impressed.
But here’s the rub …
There are several reasons to believe this impressive feat is actually clever PR wrapped in a fairly realistic package.
- First, the reporter’s microphone has no media identification, and the Chyron graphic has no media logo. So, either the outlet filming this is incredibly shy or there is no media outlet filming this.
- Second, in a stadium where every section of the baseline is sponsored, only one logo is visible … the one in the center of the entire video. Gillette.
- Third, Evan Longoria happens to be one of Gillette’s new “Young Guns” spokesmen.
So, what’s my verdict? I’m saying “ad.” But I’m also saying this is a very smart use of both solid film work and clever social media PR. The graphics are clean and the clip has all the hallmarks of a very viral bit of media.
Whatever the sponsor, whether it was Gillette, the Rays or an unnamed PR agency paid to produce this video, it was money well spent. Brands have been strengthened and both Gillette and the Rays are part of the national conversation.